When doing drywalling projects, there are two types of tape that are effective- paper tape and mesh tape. Paper tape has been used in drywalling for many years and was once the standard in the industry. Both types of drywall tape are used for covering the seams and creating inside corners in remodeling projects. Mesh tape is relatively new to the drywall industry, but drywalling with mesh tape has several advantages that make it a valuable tool for doing home repairs.
Mesh tape is made of fiberglass fibers, and has a built-in adhesive on one side of the tape. Drywalling with mesh tape is largely for bridging old and new work, drywall including patches, and it makes a strong, solid bond that will flex enough that cracks are kept to a minimum.
Mesh Tape to Repair Drywall Holes
Large holes in drywall, up to three inches wide, can benefit from mesh tape used in the repair. A hole will usually need some type of support before a drywall compound can be applied to it, such as a mesh patch, then a patch of drywall is applied and held in place with drywall screws.
When you are drywalling with mesh tape, the tape can be used to cover the seams between the old drywall and the new patch. This type of tape is easier to use, as it already has the adhesive attached, and can be directly applied and a bedding coat to adhere the tape to the wall, as needed with paper tape, is not needed.
Your setting compound, also called mud or joint compound, is then applied over the tape. Paper tape has traditionally called for the application of three coats of compound, but when drywalling with mesh tape, only two coats of compounds are necessary.
Saving Time with Mesh Tape
Mesh tape was once not taken seriously by professional contractors, and was considered a do-it-yourself tool. But after a few years of marketing and education by mesh tape manufacturers, professionals have been drywalling with mesh tape for the last decade.
Paper tape is somewhat stronger than mesh tape, but one big advantage of drywalling with mesh tape is that it will save considerable time. Both the application of the tape and the drying time will be shorter, as the two coats of compound instead of three negates not only the time spent applying an extra coat, but the time it takes for an extra coat to dry.
Another time saver is that the embedding application is eliminated, as the self-adhesive is all that is needed. When you are drywalling with mesh tape and using a setting compound, you can do the joint finishing on the same day, rather than having to wait overnight. And, mesh tape open weave construction will allow moisture to evaporate evenly and much more quickly, which will prevent bubbles and blistering.
Another advantage to drywalling with mesh tape is that there is no wicking required. Due to its construction, fiberglass mesh tape will not be affected by mold, and it will not absorb any moisture. There is also a safety advantage to using mesh tape- with 100% fiberglass yarns- it is fire resistant, unlike the more flammable paper tape. Mesh tape will also not tear and it will not shrink.